Thursday, October 6, 2022

Costco Beer Advent Calendar 2021 Review Beers 17-24

I’ve made it through 24 16oz tall boys of German made beers. And theoretically you have read 9000 words talking about a warehouse store's beer advent calendar (part 1, part 2). I recently failed out of TikTok business school and started watching MBA videos on YouTube for fun (it's not fun). I've learned that business school thinks PowerPoints are still an effective way to communicate information. But first the last 8 beer reviews, then the good stuff (or not I can't control if you scroll down).

Day 17: Mare Germanicum

Best by date: 2023/05

Imperial pilsners are such a bizarre style. Typically maltier, hoppier, and boozier than their normal counterpart; they can be quite tricky. This one is inoffensive but doesn’t kill it either. Loads of sweet malt, touch of honey buns before a big herby hop character. Needs way more bitterness to balance it out. Reminds me of less boozy malt liquor which shockingly I don’t mind (reference blog name). Rating: 3/5

Day 18: Meine Grosse Liebe

Best by date: 2023/05

The time has finally come, it is the last helles of the pack and boy is it a good one. Mild perceived sweetness of malt and water crackers. Cleanly lagered with a great herby hoppy bitterness. Everything about this just comes together in the perfect way where the whole is better than the su, if it’s parts. I am loving this helles. Rating: 5/5

Day 19: Zwonitzer Rauchbier

Best by date: 2023/05

Rauch bier literally translates to smoke beer as it is made with smoked malt. This beer style truly is polarizing and this one follows suit. First sip of this is all cheap bacon without being liquid smoke a la BK's Whopper. It's followed by toasted, borderline roasted coffee, sweet malt to balance it out. Well lagered and good bitterness to keep it drinkable. True to style but lacks that je ne sais quoi that makes the best rauch’s irresistible.Rating: 4/5

Day 20: Bayerischer Isarbock

Best by date: 2023/05

This is a style you do not see all the time and is an extremely pleasant surprise. If you’re not familiar, this is more or less a higher abv hefeweizen. This beer has an amazing blend of banana, cloves, and Juicy Fruit gum yeast character. Mild malt sweetness that plays the assisting role to the yeast character. Little to no bitterness on the back. Higher abv but it doesn’t taste boozy. I’m shocked at how enjoyable this based on the other wheat beers in this pack. Rating: 5/5

Day 21: Hosl Marzenbier

Best by date: 2023/05

This a great thirst quenching marzen. Upfront is a bit of toasted wheat bread before a good mix of herby and lemon zest hoppiness that leaves the palate completely dry. Cleanly lagered and easy drinking. Not much else to say besides this is a great drinker. Rating: 5/5

Day 22: Schlossbrauerei Rheder Original Pils

Best by date: 2023/05

Maybe they saved the best for last? We are hitting a string of straight bangers. A very mild grainy sweetness before the primary hop flavors which are a great mix of spicy and herby. It’s that welcome amount of bitterness that makes you keep going back another sip. Very cleanly lagered with no off flavors. When you have a good German Pilsner, you know it. Rating: 5/5

Day 23: Bavarian Festbier

Best by date: 2023/05

This is a true to style festbier. Upfront is a slight larger sweeteness with notes of cracker from the pilsner malt. Bitterness is very mild and barely there whisper of mint. You know it’s a bit boozier but it’s within balance. If I were looking to buy a festbier, this would fit the bill. Rating: 5/5

Day 24: Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel

Best by date: 2023/05

Lots of grainy sweetness leaning heavy with pretzel crust. Lagered very cleanly and just enough bitterness to keep this from being overly sweet or cloying. You don’t taste the higher alcohol content either. The best examples of these have all of these complex browning elements of caramel and creme brûlée but this one just falls flat. This is the 5/5 combo breaker. Rating: 4/5

Now the part you have been waiting for, charts and graphs baby!

As you can tell, the quality of these beers, as a whole, is really solid. This isn't some standard bell curve bull shit. Apparently this is called a right skew - I learned something today so I decided to show it off. Almost no stinkers; I personally finished all 24 of these beers. Two thirds of the beers are just straight up good, I would happily drink them. Only two of them were duds but they still went down the gullet.

This is where things start to faulter a bit. Over 20% of these beers are helles. Another 16% are marzens. This calendar lacks variety as a whole. You are getting a lot of the same thing: pale fizzy lagers. I wasn't mad but I also understand this is not everyone's cup of tea.

Look at this breakdown by yeast. Almost 80% of these beers are lagers. Sorry if you like weird ales but you're out of luck. This also leads into my next point: the lagers taste significantly better than the ales. Even the worst lager was good while the ales in the pack, specifically the IPA and pale ale, were the worst of the bunch.

No surprise here, this follows the same trend as the score distribution: on the whole, they are tasty brews. The lagers are well made with the more unique styles rated highly. I do wonder if I rated the unique ones artificially higher because they were so different from the helles and pilsners that are the bulk of this calendar. Unfortunately, I didn't craft my advent calendar tasting process as a double blind study. Maybe next time (definitely not next time). Interestingly, all of the ales fall into the bottom 4 groups.

Since most of the beers are good you never get into a rut of having to slug bad beers. The last 6 days of this calendar were the absolute banger you need to get hyped for Christmas. It's like hearing Sweet Caroline right before the bar closes. Same exact energy if it were packaged into a cardboard box of mystery beers.

Being totally honest, I am not sure I am cut out for MBA YouTube lectures. I think I am more of a WWE intro kind of guy. Before starting reading this list, please play this music.

And now, the official power rankings:

  1. German Black Bock
  2. Schlossbrauerei Rheder Original Pils
  3. Zwonitzer Steinbier
  4. Meine Grosse Liebe
  5. Bayerischer Isarbock
  6. Grumpy Hell
  7. Marzenbier
  8. Bavarian Festbier
  9. Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel
  10. Nordsee Pils
  11. Tannen Hell
  12. Alms Hell
  13. 1516 Schloss Weisse
  14. Urtyp Helle Edel Bayer
  15. Husaren-Bier
  16. Zwonitzer Rauchbier
  17. Jubilaumsbier 333
  18. Memminger Gold Marzen
  19. Herrnbrau
  20. Wiener Lager
  21. Baren Weiss
  22. Mare Germanicum
  23. Perlenzauber IPA
  24. Perlenzauber

Overall, the vast majority of the beers in here are worth drinking and I would outright buy them if they were sold individually. Unfortunately, if you find German lager, specifically helles, uninteresting, this calendar is not for you. Compared to the Aldi calendar, you’re trading in variety for better quality. As someone who loves lagers, I found this calendar to be a lot of fun and a worthwhile trip. I even got to try a style I had never heard of before. I will say though, I did miss the lineup and fanfare Aldi offered. Maybe make an effort to spice it up? Could get your partner to bring each can with a sparkler aka bottle service at home? Or perhaps train your dog to put on lederhosen and grab it from the fridge? No matter what you do, at least the beer will be tasty.

No comments:

Post a Comment